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Saturday, April 15, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Pac-10 football gets tropical in new bowl lineup

Seattle Times staff reporter

Washington football coach Tyrone Willingham said last month the Huskies turned down a chance to play a 13th regular-season game at the University of Hawaii this year because he's hoping UW will play an extra game this year — in a bowl.

Turns out, those two things could be one and the same for the Huskies if Willingham's optimism proves well-founded.

Pac-10 officials said Friday the conference has reached an agreement to send its No. 6 team this season to the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu. Dates and times will be set later after all bowls are certified.

The new deal is part of a two-year contract that also calls for the conference to send its No. 6 team to the Fort Worth Bowl in 2007 — both the Hawaii and Fort Worth bowls are owned by ESPN.

The Pac-10 will then have the option to extend that agreement for another two years, sending its No. 6 team to the Hawaii Bowl again in 2008 and the Fort Worth Bowl in 2009. The opponent in the Hawaii Bowl this year will be a team from the WAC.

The Pac-10 had deals with the old Aloha and Oahu Bowls to send teams to Hawaii on a regular basis, with Washington playing there in 1997 and 1998.

But both bowls later folded (the Oahu Bowl technically became the short-lived Seattle Bowl), and no Pac-10 team has played a bowl game in Hawaii since the 2000 Aloha Bowl, when Boston College beat Arizona State. The Hawaii Bowl was founded in 2002 and has featured teams from the WAC and Conference USA the past four years.

The rest of the Pac-10's bowl agreements will remain largely the same.

The champion will head to the Rose Bowl (unless it qualifies for the national title game), the No. 2 team to the Holiday Bowl and No. 3 to the Sun Bowl. The opponent for the Sun Bowl, however, has changed. For years, the Pac-10 has played a Big Ten team in the Sun Bowl. But beginning this season, the opponent will come from either the Big 12 or the Big East.

The Pac-10's No. 4 and No. 5 teams will play in the Las Vegas and Emerald bowls, though not necessarily in that order. The opponent in the Las Vegas Bowl will come from the Mountain West Conference, while the opponent in the Emerald Bowl, which is held in San Francisco, will be the No. 4 team from the ACC.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com

Pac-10 bowl lineup
The Pac-10 bowl arrangements for the 2006 football season (dates will be announced later):
Bowl Site Matchup
Rose Pasadena, Calif. No. 1 vs. Big Ten No. 1*
Holiday San Diego No. 2 vs. Big 12 No. 3
Sun El Paso, Texas No. 3 vs. Big 12 or Big East
Las Vegas Las Vegas No. 4 or No. 5 vs. Mountain West
Emerald San Francisco No. 4 or 5 vs. ACC No. 4
Hawaii Honolulu No. 6 vs. WAC
* Unless Pac-10 champ qualifies for title game

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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